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This rant I made about the BBC's bullshit "Spelling mistakes cost millions in lost online sales".... several people on Twitter have replied saying they thought that the story was reasonable.

Let me clarify: I don't care about whether the assertion is true. I care about the fact that it was made without any viable evidence, by some random person, who somehow managed to get his opinion, mentions of this websites, and links to said sites, on the BBC. It might well be true - that's not the point.

Wait, actually, that really is the point. The fact that people think it's probably sorta true was what made it such a successful viral story. It taps into the fact that many many people value good spelling and reflexively nodded at the headline and sent the story round to all their friends who believe similarly.

If you're still unsure why this is a problem, let me explain: someone has taken something you value and used it to turn you into their uncritical PR bitch, via the BBC.
And here's the type of bullshit that sets my teeth on edge. <br /><br />The most read story on the BBC right now is "Spelling mistakes 'cost…
Razib Khan's profile photoJess Zimmerman's profile photoJ. Martin's profile photoDavid Dobbs's profile photo
amen! (so sayeth the shitty speller :-)
who is this "we" you speak of? :-)
Yet another reason everyone should have to take formal logic: A conclusion can be true without the argument being remotely valid (or any of the premises true, for that matter).
And there were many good reason why not the answers, but how we got there was most critical to receiving good math grades in school.
And it creates a sort of grade inflation, in which reader and publisher expectations demand The Big Idea, the thing that explains everything. It's like eating cheeseburgers all the time. The empty calories make you think you're getting a meal, but the real nutrition lies elsewhere. My favorite example: Blink v Lehrer's How We Decide. The latter is the real meal.
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